Little Arabia Protests Israeli Ground Invasion of Gaza

Gabriel San Roman / OC Weekly
"Gaza, Gaza, don't you cry, Palestine will never die!"

Two hundred demonstrators took to the streets of Anaheim's Little Arabia Friday afternoon chanting and waving the green, red, white and black flag of Palestine. In the latest in an ongoing conflagration, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered a ground invasion of Gaza, an ultra-dense, besieged strip of land on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.

The restaurants and markets of Little Arabia are now officially a tourist attraction, but protests show that it continues to be the OC heart and soul of Middle Eastern politics, too.

Zinab Alsadek, a student at UC Irvine and member of Students for Justice in Palestine, called the demonstration to action.

"The media is very biased and won't say anything about the Palestinian deaths that have been occurring," Alsadek said. "Since July 7, over 200 Palestinians have died." She pointed to ABC news anchor Diane Sawyer showing images of destruction in Gaza recently and calling it Israel.

The latest death toll figures for Palestinians climbed to over 300 as of today. Alsadek called on protesters to stage a "die-in" as people laid on the sidewalks.

Two Israeli soldiers and one civilian are dead since the start of increased hostilities. Rockets continue to launch from Gaza but inflict minimal damage in comparison to Israeli armament.

"We are in America and America is such good friends to Israel," Alsadek said. "But what we hope for one day is for America to realize is that their military aide is killing innocent lives." The number of dead Palestinian children stands at 70 so far.

At the protest, activists passed out flyers for an Islamic Relief USA emergency iftar fundraiser tonight at the Anaheim Hilton. "They are trying to raise a million dollars for people in Gaza," said volunteer Salsabil Gehan. "A lot of hospitals closed down because there are way too many patients and way too few doctors." They want to provide the most basic needs including medicine, food and water in this time of crisis.

"It's sad because I feel like this happens every Ramadan," Gehan added. The Islamic holy month of fasting and prayers ends soon. "My prayer for Gaza is that this whole thing will end and that Gaza will be free."

Follow Gabriel San Román on Twitter @gsanroman2

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